Pope Francis sends two researchers from the Roman Catholic Church to the Diocese of Cologne. It faces a crisis of confidence as a result of a major abusive scandal. Researchers, including the Bishop of Rotterdam, are investigating, among other things, errors in dealing with abuse cases by the Cardinal of Cologne, according to a German media report.
The pope ordered an apostolic visit to the largest German diocese. Such visits are the most rigorous survey within the Roman Catholic Church, having previously taken place within the Irish Catholic Church (2010) and in sister monasteries in the United States (2008/2009).
The research in Cologne is being conducted by Bishop of Rotterdam Hans van den Hende and Swedish Cardinal Anders Arborelius. According to a statement from the ambassador of the Holy See in Berlin, in June they were to “create on the ground a detailed picture of the complex pastoral situation of the Archbishop of Cologne”.
Cologne Cardinal Rainer Maria Volki welcomes the trial. “I already informed the Holy Father in detail about the situation in our diocese in February. I appreciate his willingness to use the apostolic visit to obtain his own picture of the independent inquiry and its implications.” With the latter, the Archbishop cites a report released by the External Inquiry Committee in March. This shows that more than 300 children in the diocese have been sexually abused by more than 200 suspects in recent decades. Dozens of senior church officials have covered up prostitution cases.
The report acquitted the cardinal, but a dozen clerics accused him of making mistakes in handling the abuse cases. Among them was the current Archbishop of Hamburg, Stephen Haye, as head of staff and vice-bishop in Cologne, who had failed 11 times in his dealings with nine abusers. Cologne deputy bishops Dominicus Swaderlab and Ansker Puff have also been accused of neglecting duty. Hee immediately offered his resignation to the Pope, and Volki temporarily relieved the two deputy bishops of their office.
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Cardinal Volki was fired before the report could be released for refusing to release the report of the initial internal investigation into the abuse cases. This is due to ‘weak’ research methods. The archbishop is now on fire again for his actions against the two clergy accused in the report.
Despite allegations of sexual harassment, one of them was appointed by Volki in 2017 as deputy dean of St. Margaret’s Church in D டுsseldorf. The other priest, who later died and worked in the same church, failed to conduct a preliminary church investigation into allegations of serious sexual abuse when he took office in 2015. The cardinal failed to report it in Rome and then justified the turn of events by pointing to the former priest’s “advanced dementia”, which prevented him from being interrogated.
The deans of 14 of the 15 wards in the cities and districts within the archbishop wrote a letter to Cardinal Volki earlier this week urging him to take “personal consequences” from the corruption and allegations of abuse against him. With hundreds of Catholics unregistered, the crisis of faith in the archbishop has reached a climax, according to department heads, and cannot continue like this.
Cardinal Volki spoke with more than 40 members of the Church of St. Margaret in Dெல்sseldorf for about two hours on Thursday evening. When he arrived, about 60 parishioners showed him a red card.
Volki is already under investigation in Rome over his removal from duty. This was confirmed by a spokesman following a complaint to the Vatican ambassador in Berlin by the Bishop of Munster, who has long served in the province of Cologne. South newspaper.
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